David Middlebrook is one of five artists, whose careers have been greatly influenced by their association with The Triton Museum of Art in the currently running exhibition, What the Triton Means to Me.
Los Gatos sculptor David Middlebrook, represented by The McLoughlin Gallery, has lived and worked all over the word. I love his playful approach to substantial ideas, by using scale, drama, incongruity and enticing finishes Middlebrook engages viewers immediately, with the puzzle of their meaning unfolding under further inspection.
In Haywire a packing crate seems to hover overhead while strapping dangles limply to the ground, There’s a floating rock entangled in one of the ends and another is trapped in the recesses of the crate like an escaped balloon.
The viewer can appreciate this work on a purely aesthetic level, the harmonious finishes, the towering form in space, the curvilinear elements in juxtaposition to the linear, mass versus weightlessness. This is an enjoyable and impactful experience on its own but when combined with the artist’s explanation of his inspiration it reaches a higher level. When I asked David Middlebrook about the piece he said, “We’ve messed up everything else on this planet. I thought, what would it look like if we messed up gravity too?” Love it! – an inviting window into a sharp social commentary to be appreciated on many levels.
Queen of Time, Cast Bronze, Resin, Wood and Paper, presents an egg pierced with holes held up by the curved branches of a birch log, perched on a stand of oversized bent combs…..I wish I’d asked what combs represent in Middlebrook’s sculptural lexicon! I get a sense of thwarted but persistent growth.
Congress (right) Cast Bronze and Basalt, is a highly polished piece of two overscale pipes, fixed end to end in a lovely sinuous union. It’s our congress blowing smoke at each other in a deadlocked, deadbeat embrace.
Incidental Incubator, the giant egg in the nest of garbage cans, may be speaking to our relationship to carbon, both as the building block of life on our planet and our ever growing carbon footprint.
Chief Curator Preston Metcalf and David Middlebrook in front of Haywire.
The show runs until January 3, 2016 and also features the work of Patricia Bengston-Jones, Leroy Parker, Nabeela Sajjad and George Rivera.